Userful and the Provincial Government of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas close the digital divide for citizens - abc27 WHTM

Userful and the Provincial Government of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas close the digital divide for citizens

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SOURCE Userful Corporation

ICT for Everyone projects aims to create complete digital inclusion by 2018

CALGARY, Alberta and SANTO DOMINGO, Ecuador, June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Provincial Government of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas is transforming digital literacy for its citizens through its "ICT for Everyone" digital inclusion project. In 2013, the provincial government launched the first phase of the digital literacy program by installing more than 600 desktop computers in schools across the province. The five-year project is designed to close the digital gap for the province's citizens who are without access to learning using technology infrastructure. The government aims to provide internet connection, ICT training and computer access to all citizens by 2018.

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Geovanny Benitez, an engineer working for the Provincial Government of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, took the lead on the project, realizing that establishing a digital infrastructure to empower learning is the most important factor to ensure citizens are educated and successful in the future. During the school day, teachers and students who often do not have computers or internet access at home, are now empowered to use the desktop computers for teaching and learning. When the school day is finished, the entire community uses the computers to develop ICT skills through adult education and certification programs, creating job applications and skill development.

After an extensive evaluation, the provincial government of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas selected Canadian technology company, Userful Corporation, to deliver a reliable and high quality yet affordable VDI solution. With Userful software, the team reduced hardware, software and electricity costs to afford the maximum number of computers. By replacing expensive computers with inexpensive ultra thin or zero client computing devices with Userful software, the team was able to use just one computer to power every eight desktop computer stations with Linux software and thousands of open source applications. Each station uses only three watts of power compared to the average 120 watts of power that traditional computers use which delivers a green computing solution that dramatically saves ongoing electricity costs.

"My main satisfaction with the project is that I see how the communities have received the benefits from the technology. The ICT Project is not seen as a government project but as a community project. The people are empowered," Guillen said.

The success of phase one led the way for an international cooperative project with the Chinese government, with a $1.8M grant being provided by the Chinese embassy that is expected to be received in 2015. The second phase of computer deployment, currently underway, will provide thousands more citizens with computing accessibility.

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Carolyn Evans
Director Marketing Communications
Userful Corporation
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